The sad truth: We see these celebrities as examples of what we want to achieve – not to mention that we don’t have a fraction of their wealth or resources. And when we compare our bodies to celebrity bodies, it just can’t end well. Megan Jayne Crabbe, bestselling author of Body Positive Power, knows this too, and tells GLAMOR: “We expect of ourselves that we can achieve the same standard of beauty without having the means – that’s not fair in the first place Comparison.”
We commend celebrities for talking to us about everything from their romantic ventures to their tried-and-true beauty hacks. And through social media, we supposedly got even closer and made parasocial friendships. We are happy if you unexpectedly “like” our comments on Instagram or follow us on Twitter.
Yet their diets and so-called “wellness routines” pose the greatest threat to this relationship with us, as they expose the unseen labor — private gyms, personal chefs, infrared saunas, etc. — that is really required to maintain their looks. On this way, many stars have an incentive (and opportunity) to keep their extreme weight-loss tactics a secret.
“Part of the appeal of celebrity culture is that stars always seem so perfectly dressed and impossibly beautiful and infinitely happy and rich,” adds Crabbe. “Celebrity culture creates an expectation that these women have a measure of of physical perfection only possible through expensive treatments and an extreme lifestyle, while at the same time giving the impression that it is all natural. That’s the ultimate illusion.”
Gwyneth Paltrow is far from the only famous woman on a strict diet — but she is is one of the few who actually admits it.
When stars like Gwyneth Paltrow refer to bone broth as “soup” — or when Kim Kardashian talks about going on a crash diet to fit in Marilyn Monroe’s dress — momentarily suspend the illusion that your looks are an effortless by-product of your fame. Gwyneth Paltrow is far from the only famous woman on a strict diet. However, she’s one of the few who actually professes to be so — even if she’s doing so under the guise of “wellness.”
Does this mean that we should celebrate stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kim Kardashian who show a modicum of honesty about the harsh reality that really lies behind their bodies? Certainly not.
That’s how dangerous the “eat like me, look like me” relationship is for your own body image
Gwyneth Paltrow stands for a certain wellness concept like hardly anyone else. As the founder of the Goop brand, she represents an elitist vision of wellness that appeals to the super-rich and those aspiring to be. She has a dedicated audience of women who are the target of endless marketing campaigns (not just from Goop) promoting the pursuit of wellness.
Rhiannon Lambert, board-certified nutritionist and author of “The Science of Nutrition,” says Gwyneth Paltrow’s approach to wellness can be “very dangerous” because “most techniques or methods are not evidence-based.” Because Gwyneth Paltrow positions herself as an expert on all things health, some people might interpret her own lifestyle as sound nutrition advice, furthering what Lambert calls an “eat like me, look like me” relationship describes – “one of the biggest red flags” when it comes to nutrition and body image.
“Gwyneth Paltrow has financial incentive to continue her ‘wellness routine’ honest to be…”
For most people who don’t have Gwyneth Paltrow’s infinite resources at their disposal, extreme attempts to limit themselves can lead to long-term eating disorders. Anti-diet nutritionist Christy Harrison describes this phenomenon as the “restriction pendulum.”